102 Cutting Another’s Throat
A thud could be heard as the sword formation shattered into many pieces, revealing Gao Xiang and Tan Yubing.
Both of them were drenched in sweat. To describe them in one word, they were “wrecked.” Blood could be seen on Tan Yubing.
The upper door was indeed way more difficult to pass compared to the previous doors. Furthermore, only two people were taking up the attack even though the test was currently designed for three, so the difficulty for Gao Xiang and Tan Yubing was even greater.
Blinking her eyes to prevent herself from falling asleep, the old lady waved her hands as soon as the formation shattered, “Okay, pass.”
As she waved her arm, the mist that was surrounding the area started to disperse, and a grand staircase leading to the Heavenly Door was uncovered.
Gao Xiang and Tan Yubing were overjoyed.
“Thank you, Senior,” they thanked the old lady, then immediately went back to help Lu Mingshu up before ascending the stairs.
The other disciples’ eyes were all green with envy when the three went up the stairs. Going up the stairs signified that one would become a genuine successor disciple!
“Let’s go,” Shao Zhengyang urged.
“Don’t you want to wait a while? I’m scared that…” Yuan Ziyang looked over at Ban Qin.
Shao Zhengyang shook his head.
“Be at ease, they’re still busy trying to save their face. Where would they have the time to care about us?”
In this Heavenly Door competition, a lot of unexpected events had occurred. The biggest clans who initially should have gone against each other didn’t do much, and the competition just ended with not much happening from them.
Zhou Yinru didn’t even finish the competition, Tang Jingrong quit out of embarrassment, and Jie Wenhan gave up her seat as a winner this year. Out of all the people who managed to become genuine successor disciples, half of them were unexpected.
This was the worst result in recent years.
Why was there such a result? All because a single disciple – one who didn’t belong to any clans, one who was sick and tired of being stepped on – struck back out of anger.
How many sighed with sorrow, and how many were angry and resentful?
Before the sun went down, the ten disciples who managed to clinch a title as a genuine successor disciple stood on the cloudy stage.
Below the White Magnificent Peak, some stomped off in anger, and some walked over to the cloudy stage to witness the moment.
To the Zhou family, it wasn’t just an embarrassment to them, it was an embarrassment to their ancestors too. Among the ten, Gao Xiang, Tan Yubing, Kuai Xin, and Lu Mingshu weren’t on any side. However, two of those – Kuai Xin and Lu Mingshu – were against them. Out of the other six, three were from the Jade Terrace and three were from the Zhou family. Not only did they not gain anything, they were now at a disadvantage.
“The Heavenly Door competition results are out. Thirty disciples were put to test at the upper door, but only ten managed…”
Fu Shangqing took a piece of a jade tablet from a tray. The thing that signified one as a genuine successor disciple; when the competition ended, the name of the disciple would be carved into the tablet in through a special message, and it would be passed from the sect leader to the disciple.
“Lu Mingshu,” he announced the name in monotone.
“Disciple is here,” Lu Mingshu answered. Even though she won the Heavenly Door competition, neither happiness nor excitement could be seen on her face; she was perfectly composed.
“You had an outstanding performance. Now, you will receive the title of genuine successor disciple.”
“Thank you, sect leader.”
Looking at Fu Shangqing, Lu Mingshu felt weird. This was her father – her biological father – yet the number of times they had met could be counted with her fingers.
Eight years ago, at the Nine Jade Palace, he met her as a father and told her that he found her a master. Four years ago, she was accused of conspiring with outsiders by Zhou Yinru during the spring hunt and met with him during her hearing. Now, Lu Mingshu had a streak of eighteen wins and she became a genuine successor disciple, meeting him again for the award ceremony.
They were related by blood, yet they weren’t even at the level of strangers.
As far as Lu Mingshu was concerned, the only good thing that Fu Shangqing ever did as a father was bringing her to her master, Liu Jizhen.
“Wait a second!”
Fu Shangqing halted his actions upon hearing the voice.
He looked over to the crowd. A man with long hair and a beard was walking toward him with large steps.
Fu Shangqing took back his hand.
“Second Uncle? What brings you here?”
Lu Mingshu’s eyes lit up. The only person that Fu Shangqing would address as Second Uncle would be the Second Master of the Zhou family.
Second Master of the Zhou family.
He was in the Spirit Realm, and he held the title of Elder. Unfortunately, no matter how hard he tried, his brother – the First Master – was always way better. He couldn’t cultivate as well and his ability was never up to par, so he was always forgotten by others.
Even though Lu Mingshu didn’t really know what happened between other clans, she knew the Zhou family’s business by heart. Gao Xiang was always telling her stories about them.
It wasn’t surprising that a member of Zhou family would come, but no matter who it was, it didn’t matter.
Elder Zhou went up to them and pointed angrily at Lu Mingshu, “She’s not qualified to be a genuine successor disciple! Personal matters shouldn’t apply here!”
The second part was directed to Fu Shangqing.
Fu Shangqing furrowed his eyebrows, “What does Second Uncle mean? There are many witnesses that she was one of the top ten, I’m just following the rules.”
“Oh, is that so? But, I seem to recall there being a rule saying a murderer shouldn’t be given the title of genuine successor disciple!”
Not only were the disciples watching the ceremony through the phantom mirror confused, the Elders present on the cloudy stage were as well.
Murderer? Who was killed in those eighteen fights? There weren’t even many injuries!
Most disciples didn’t believe what Elder Zhou said. They witnessed Lu Mingshu winning despite always being forgotten by the Nine Jade Palace. So, to them, Lu Mingshu was a miracle, and they were biased toward her.
“Second Uncle Zhou, baseless accusations shouldn’t be made!”
Before Fu Shangqing could finish, An Tongchen cut him off coldly, “Cruel, bloody, killing innocents indiscriminately – that’s considered to be murder. Any violation will be taken care of. Light violations will result in expulsion, serious violators will be sentenced to death, and if someone is framed, then the party who framed them will be sentenced similarly!”
“Because it is such a serious matter, I have no choice but to speak! Bring it up!” Elder Zhou beckoned.
Upon his command, two disciples carried a stretcher up the stage.
Elder Zhou took a step forward to lift the white cover, exposing a body covered in blood.
The disciples below the White Magnificent Peak held their breath, and the female disciples shrieked.
The corpse was covered in wounds indicating that beasts had been chewing him. The injuries were so bad that the body was badly mangled.
“It’s him!” Ban Qin shrieked upon recognizing the face.
The Zhou Elder immediately turned to him, “Youngster, you knew him?”
“I don’t know who he is, but I’ve seen him before….” Ban Qin answered after hesitating for a while.
“Where did you see him before?”
“At the lower door….”
“Was he with Lu Mingshu?”
The disciples’ eyes shone after hearing Ban Qin’s answer. When Lu Mingshu arrived at the lower door, that person was with her, but when she arrived at the middle door, it was only her. Because the White Magnificent Peak was so hazy, no one found it fishy at the time, as getting lost was easy. However, it turned out that he didn’t get lost, he was dead!
“Everybody, look at the corpse. The wounds caused by the beasts are from after he was already dead. The fatal injury is this – decapitation!” Elder Zhou held the head, which was no longer connected to the body, up to everyone, “Look at the injury!”
The bloody scene caused a lot of discomfort. It even caused some to vomit.
“The Heavenly Door competition is a competition amongst fellow disciples. Decapitation of a fellow disciple of the Nine Jade Palace is more than cruel! Everyone, shouldn’t this be taken care of?”
“Yay, two eggs! I wonder what beasts will hatch from them…. Okay, it’s safe here now!”
“Eh, where are the eggs? They were here yesterday!”
Little Daze: Let some other little beasts divert your attention from me? Nah, get in my belly instead, little beasts. Hehe.